More than 50 percent of tetanus injuries occur in the yard, garden, or other outdoor locations, yet most gardeners don’t realize how often they are exposed—or know if they are protected against this disease. Learn how to protect yourself against tetanus.
Tetanus bacteria are often found in places that gardeners might not suspect. Potting soil, dirt, and manure are all prime locations for bacteria. While you cannot get tetanus by being exposed to an infected person, you can contract the disease through common outdoor injuries, including scratches, insect bites, splinters, and even animal bites. Tetanus is rare in the United States, but it’s hard to diagnose and treat, and it can be fatal.
A childhood vaccine shot for tetanus and diphtheria is not lifelong. You need a tetanus booster every 10 years, starting at age 11. A current vaccination will protect you from tetanus and diphtheria and give you peace of mind in the garden.